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James McCarthy won't make German trip


James McCarthy

James McCarthy

James McCarthy

Martin O'Neill has ruled out any possibility of James McCarthy joining up with the Ireland squad before they fly out Germany next week.

Hamstring injuries to both McCarthy and Seamus Coleman mean that O'Neill will be without his best midfielder and only right-full for the easiest and toughest games in the group.

When asked how he squared Everton's decision to withdraw McCarthy given that manager Roberto Martinez described the knock as fatigue and "not a real injury" last week, O'Neill was quick to clarify.

"No, no, it's a hamstring injury. I think he got a scan on it. Whatever grades they are this day, it's definitely not (fatigue)."

"With Seamus, it's not the hamstring he's done before, it's the other side, he's been feeling very, very tight. You know what Seamus is like: he'd want to play, he'd want to play for both club and country. But if he's not right."

"I'm not obviously in control of club affairs so I don't know how things are dealt with there but I'm sure very professionally. I'm hoping that Seamus and James will be available, if not for us now, then for Scotland. But I just don't know."

"I haven't spoken to Roberto Martinez, but I had a word with Seamus - Seamus doesn't feel fantastic at the moment - and James ."

"There was talk about James being available, or trying to be available, for last Sunday's game against Manchester United, but I think that was a long shot.

"At the moment, you would say that there is no chance of them being available," he said, admitting that he is considering calling both players over for a check-up.

"I'll think about it, but I will speak to Roberto first of all," said O'Neill

With Coleman out, O'Neill is struggling badly for options at right-full. So much so that he called up Hull prospect Brian Lenihan and is actively considering David Meyler as emergency cover.

"Well, we will see, we will see. That was Oman at the time, but we will have a little look and see how things develop. He did fine in the game, absolutely, but we will have a look at it.

O'Neill remains cautious about Aston Villa prospect Jack Grealish and is not surprised that England Under 21 boss Gareth Southgate is on the prowl.

His initial meeting with Grealish and his father went well as far as he was concerned and he has no intention of placing the player under any pressure.

"I've left Jack and his father after a perfectly decent conversation at the time. Certainly no pressure on them. It's up to them. They know we'd be keen to have them."

"Jack is trying to break through at Villa, not surprised that England are showing an interest. In the end, it will be down to the player and his family.

"I've said, they know where I stand. They know exactly where I stand, it's as simple as that. Of course, he's a very very decent player. But they know that from the meeting. "

Asked whether there was an opportunity to pick Grealish for the two game US tour last June, O'Neill said: "I'm sure it was but I wanted to go with the players I'd seen at that particular time. "

O'Neill stressed that he had offered Grealish the chance to train with the senior squad.

Jack has also had an opportunity to come here which his father decided not to do for the previous time (v Oman/Georgia); to come and train with us but he wanted to stay with the U21s so that's fine."

"I'm not going to apply pressure. I'm not going to do it. People will make up their own minds, it's their lives," he said.